Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/229

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and they produced a large number of writers and authorities on this subject. These were mainly translators, compilers and commentators of the Greek medical writings, so that their chief service to medicine was the preservation and transmission to succeeding ages of Greek medical lore; although they did make some material contributions in the differentiation of eruptive fevers and the introduction of certain drugs. The Arabians adhered quite closely to the authority of Galen. Of the large number of known Arabian medical writers three stand preeminent, Ehazes (850-932) and Avicenna (980-1037) of Bagdad, and Averroes (1126-1198) of Cordova.

Medieval Medicine.—During the four or five centuries following the fall of Borne (476), known in history as the Dark Ages, medicine in Europe shared in the general intellectual torpor of the period. No eminent medical writer or practitioner appears in the annals of Christendom during this time. It is probable that the traditions and practise of Greek medicine gradually declined and the practitioners of the art became greatly degraded from their former standing. Ultimately medical and surgical practise came largely into the hands of members of religious orders (monastic medicine).

The revival of medical science in medieval Europe dates from the development of the famous secular medical school and university of Salerno in Italy, the first of the great European universities. Salerno was a salubrious town and health resort located on the seacoast a short distance southeast of Naples. The origin of the medical school at Salerno is obscure; it may have been founded by Charlemagne, and it is also supposed to have had early relations with the famous Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, north of Naples, which was itself a seat of a hospital and monastic medical school. The propinquity of Salerno to Sicily, which for a time was under Saracen dominion, made the Arabian influence accessible. The school of Salerno was in operation by the middle of the ninth century (846), Greek (Hippocratic) medicine being cultivated. The most famous and influential of its earlier teachers was Constantinus Africanus (1018-1087) of Carthage, who had traveled and studied extensively, and is credited with having introduced Arabian learning into Europe; he later became a monk at Monte Cassino. The school at Salerno was at the height of its fame and influence, which extended all over Europe, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, but after the establishment of the great European universities in the thirteenth century it lost its preeminence and rapidly declined, though it continued in nominal existence until the nineteenth century.

The second European medical school was that of Montpellier, near the Mediterranean coast of France. The date of its establishment is unknown, but it was in operation in 1137; it attained the highest repute as a medical school, and has ever since continued in a flourishing and